ball game played with a curved stick or club, 1527, implied in a document from Ireland – the horlinge of the litill balle with hockie stickes or staves – of unknown origin. Related to Middle French hoquet shepherd’s staff diminutive of Old French hoc hook. The hooked clubs with which the game is played resemble shepherds’ staves. In North America, ice hockey is distinguished from field hockey, but hockey alone can mean either. Also known as shinty or shinny
Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent’s net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.
Ice hockey spread to Europe around the turn of the century, and the first Olympic Games to include ice hockey for men were the 1920 Antwerp Summer Games. Six-a-side men’s ice hockey has been on the programme of every edition of the Winter Games since 1924 in Chamonix. Women’s ice hockey was accepted as an Olympic sport in 1992, and made its official debut in 1998 in Nagano. At the 99th IOC Session in July 1992, the IOC voted to approve women’s hockey as an Olympic event beginning with the 1998 Winter Olympics as part of their effort to increase the number of female athletes at the Olympics